If you’re an active guy and you like food, you probably share in my dual obsession: Snacking and protein. It makes sense, of course. The more we push our bodies, the more fuel we need/crave. But we're not alone. According to scientific data, over 90% of American adults snack at least once a day and 61% of us are actively aiming to add more protein to our daily diet. Which is promising, because if you're going to snack, make sure it's on wholesome foods that will fill you up and fuel your body. Junk food is fun and all, but it never gets the job done.
Thankfully, you can add some tasty snacks to your daily diet that are low in processed sugars and high in protein (and often fiber too). That means you will not only stave off hunger, but you'll also be able to lose fat and tone up by boosting your metabolism. Not a bad way to fight the 3 pm slump on workdays, right? Here are ten smart snacks to add to your grocery list.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Perhaps, the original on-the-run protein snack. But that's for good reason. In addition to protein, they offer many other nutrients, like iron, choline and lutein. You can make your own, of course, but if you're short on time or simply want to be lazy, there are a handful of pre-cooked options at the grocery store now.
These tender nuggets are made from hormone-free meats and poultry, organic spices and dried fruit. We particularly like the Bison Bacon bites, which balances the semisweet notes of raisin with the mild smokiness of the bacon. They're incredibly tasty and never hard, chewy or stringy like some jerky.
$19.99 for a variety pack by Epic
Peanut Butter Packs
Ounce for ounce, peanuts are one of the most protein-dense nuts. When you're on the go, rip open the top of the squeeze pack and eat the butter right from the pouch. Trust us, it's very satisfying. For more of a sit-down snack, smear some of the sweat and salty spread onto a sliced apple.
$11.99 for a 10-pack by Justin’s
The best part about this hummus isn't that it's portable. It's that it doesn't require refrigeration. Keep a few in your desk drawer or bag and snack on the high-protein hummus with some crackers or a few raw veggies for some extra fiber between meals. This variety pack comes with three delicious flavors: original, roasted red pepper and edamame.
$20.28 for a 12-pack by Veggicopia
Safe Catch tuna is a great option for those who love seafood. They test every wild-caught fish before purchasing to ensure the mercury content is low enough that you can eat it safely every day. In addition to being a high-quality lean protein, it's also a good source of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Plus, they come in hand-packed liquid-free pouches, so they're easy to grab and eat on the go.
$35 for a 12-pack by Safe Catch
Behold, a tasty, satisfying and guilt-free alternative to those Cheetos in the vending machine or at the gas station. Made from peas and lentils, Peatos are intended to satisfy those dreaded mid-afternoon or late night cravings for something cheesy and crunchy. You can even get them in the “Fiery Hot” flavor we all know and love. Plus, they actually contain a decent amount of protein, not to mention fiber, which means these calories are anything but empty.
$4.79 by Peatos
If you're tired of snacking on standard nuts like almonds and walnuts, try something new while still satisfying that craving for something salty and crunchy. These convenient packs of dry roasted edamame lightly dusted in sea salt have a rich, nutty flavor and boast 11 grams of soy protein along with six grams of hunger-fighting fiber in each 100-calorie serving.
$14 for a 12-pack by Seapoint Farms
Superfood Oat Cups
Purely Elizabeth's oat cups provide both comforting flavors such as blueberry walnut and apple cinnamon pecan. Even better, the easy-to-heat cups offer a good source of both protein and fiber, along with a superfood blend of oats, quinoa, amaranth, chia and flax for an irresistible texture and taste. Meaning they make for a satisfying breakfast or a quality snack that will tide you over before a meal.
$17.49 for a variety pack by Purely Elizabeth
Protein Powder Packs
These handy packets are your "break in case of emergency" snack. Keep them at work, in your car or your bag. Then, when you're running low on energy or feeling hungry (or have just come from a workout), you can mix it with some water or milk for a satisfying protein shake that's minimally processed, free of whey and soy and packs a whopping 26 grams of protein per serving.
$39.99 for a 12-pack by Paleo Pro
These high protein snacks are packed with crispy, roasted chickpeas that come in a variety of flavors. But we’re partial to the hot and smoky chipotle along with the sweet and savory Korean BBQ. And bonus: Foods loaded with capsaicin—the compound responsible for giving chilies their fire—have been proven to reduce belly fat, suppress appetite and boost thermogenesis—the body's ability to burn food as energy.
$21.99 for a variety pack, by Saffron Road
FYI: When it comes to nutrient-dense snacks, aim for at least 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving (or more) to create the ultimate satisfying snack combination.